While it wasn’t the result they were hoping for, the Huntsville Hoyas Boys volleyball teams fought right to the end as their season came to a close during the Muskoka Parry Sound Championships at HHS this week. The senior boys fell to Bracebridge in the semi-finals to finish in third place, with three of their four games being decided by just two points. The junior boys also came up just short, losing three of four games to BMLSS in the finals after finishing first in league play during the regular season.
“It was a tough loss. I think they got mentally beat, and they mentally beat themselves,” said Ryan Smith, who has coached the junior team for the past seven years. “They played the second match their way, and had they played the other games like that it would have been a different outcome.”
Smith, who also teaches much of the team in class, praised the group for sticking with each other all season, and expects next year’s senior team to be exceptional given the amount of talent moving up.
“Even in general that’s a cohesive group of boys, they do a lot of sports together and are close,” said Smith. “In the classroom it’s evident the friendships and the comraderie that there is among the players. They’re a really fun group of boys to coach, and an enjoyable group of guys in general and I think with more time and patience they can do some awesome things.”
While five or six players will be returning for their second year as juniors next fall, the rest of the squad will likely be rookies, meaning it could be a rebuild year for the junior team depending on the level of talent in the grade nine crop and how much the grade tens develop and grow between seasons.
“I think that’s a team with a humongous amount of potential to come. This can be an exceptional team,” said Smith, who added that it truly was a group effort allowed the boys to finish first in the regular season this year. “They were all such big parts of this team, they all brought it, and played so well together, to pick out one or two would be too hard to do.”